US Department of Justice
LOS ANGELES – One current police officer and one former officer with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department surrendered this morning to face federal charges of violating the civil rights of suspects in police custody by using Taser guns to stun three victims, two of whom were in handcuffs when they were abused.
Police Officer Anthony Sclafani, 40, and former officer David Raymond Henderson, 51, surrendered this morning at United States District Court, where they are expected to make their initial court appearances this afternoon. Both men agreed to surrender after being informed that they had been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Sclafani is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. The two-count indictment against Sclafani alleges that he used an X26 Taser gun to stun suspects in two incidents in February 2005. In one incident, the suspect was handcuffed when he was stunned, and in the second incident the female suspect also was sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
Henderson is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly using an X26 Taser gun to stun a handcuffed suspect in August 2004.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
The charge of deprivation of rights under color of law carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
The cases against Sclafani and Henderson are the result of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.